So. It's decided. My 4th event in the 50 States Half Marathon Challenge will be Florida. In February. What a lovely break from the winter of Minnesota that will be. :-)
I'll be running the Breast Cancer Half Marathon on February 12, 2012. There are multiple things about this that make me happy:
1) It supports breast cancer research through the Mayo Clinic, which is based here in MN but has a satellite branch in Jax Beach. I lost my good friend Karin Harrell to breast cancer a number of years ago, and I miss her all the time.
2) I can stay with family who lives within just a few blocks of the start line. Ok, I suppose they're not technically MY family, but close enough. My super awesome big sister, Mitzi, and her husband are making the 7 hour drive down from NC to see me and we're staying with his mother. Thanks in advance, Linda. You will be the first recipient of my soon to be famous Minnesota themed hostess gifts. :-)
3) I got a flight for less than $350, meaning it will be free for only 15,000 Visa points. Free flight AND free place to stay? Yes, please. Sorry, John Harman...Flights to Tampa were too expensive.
4) Average temp in Minneapolis in February is 29(F), while the average temp in Jax Beach around that time is 68(F). 'nuff said.
The only thing I am NOT happy about is how much it cost me to enter the race. I decided I wanted to do this race back on November 1st, but it turns out the registration fee bumped up to $95 (from $75) THE DAY BEFORE. Also, they snuck in a $10 online registration fee, bringing the total to $105. Sigh. I'll just have to plan further in advance next time.
But still. Florida...in February. With my sister. :-)
Footnote: Great holiday/birthday gift idea, considering I already have everything I need in this world -- If you feel inclined to contribute to future travel expenses that will be incurred as I work my way around this great country of ours, please scroll down to the bottom of my main blog page and click on the ChipIn link. Certainly not required, but definitely much appreciated.